One of the thing I love about running is that you can do it alone. I love to be independent and to have my alone time to sort of my own thoughts, do some brainstorming and relax. When I run alone, I am totally more focused and I push myself harder. However, for awhile I’ve been thinking about joining a running club to take my running to the next level and help me accomplish my running-related goals. So, few months ago I did some digging and found out that there are many clubs in my local area. And after making a few inquiries Dustin & I came to the realization that the Somerville Road Runners Club was the one that was the right fit for me. The SRR is Somerville Massachusetts’ oldest running club. SRR is a non-profit organization that sponsors many events a year including weekly runs, track workouts, annual races and the thing I like the most is that it welcomes new members of all abilities.
So few weeks ago, I contacted via e-mail the point man of the SRR new member welcoming center to introduce myself and help me to know more about the SRR community. However, before he would reply to my e-mail I found out that my friend Gina had the same idea and, since a friend of hers has been a SRR member for a long time she was actually invited by her friend to just join for a track workout session and Gina encouraged me to do the same. So last night, I met Gina in Davis Square and walked over to the Tufts University outdoor track. There were a lot of people of all different ages. When the coach Joe O’Leary showed up he informed us that we were not going to do a track workout as they usually do on Tuesdays but instead we would do some hills workout. So we jogged for 3/4 of a mile to the hill and we did some hill repeats. Essentially, we run up it at race pace or faster, for two sets of four repetitions with two minute recovery in between and, then jog down for recovery for a total of 3.7 miles. The coach reminded us that when hitting the incline, to lean forward with our back tall, lift our knees through our hip flexors and push down with our gluteus and calves focusing more on vertical, rather than forward, motion. Well, let me tell you, it kicked my bootie! It was also great to have Gina next to me when going up those hills, it definitely helped me push even harder. I am very excited to go back next Tuesday nights for a track work out!
Have you been thinking about joining a running club? Let me tell you why you should:
- Most running clubs offer benefits to members such as group training, newsletters, club meetings and parties, discounts on local races and on running apparel and gear from running stores =)
- It helps boost your motivation, improve your performance, and meet and socialize with other runners who share a common interest in running and good health.
- Find training partners to motivate and push you.
- Experience camaraderie and team competition with race series.
- Provides a unique opportunity to benefit from the knowledge of more experienced runners and from a coach’s advices in marathon preparation, nutrition, and injury prevention.
- Running in a group may actually get your creative juices flowing even more than running solo because you’re able to bounce ideas off other people.
- You get your own personal cheering squad. Members of running clubs and teams root each other on during races and support one another through long runs.
- Everyone improve with a little healthy competition. When you’re running with others who are encouraging you to run faster and harder, it’s easier to take it to the next level.
- And most of all to have fun!
How Can You Find a Running Group to Join?
Many cities have a running club of some type with some areas having more than one. One way to find a group in your area is to go to sporting goods stores that sell running gear, they are definitely a good sources for information about area running clubs. You can ask other runners you know if they belong to a running club or if they can offer a recommendation for a club in your area. Or check out Road Runners Club of America’s website to find the clubs closest to you. The site includes links to the clubs’ websites, which you can check out to find out more about the clubs. If you are from the Boston area here are few excellent running clubs:
- Community Running Association
- Cambridge Running Club
- Somerville Road Runners
- L Street Running Club
- Greater Boston Track Club
- Heartbreak Hill Striders
- Winchester Highlanders
- Melrose Running Club
- Shamrock Running Club
- Mystic Runners
- Parkway Running Club
- The Boston Runners Only Club
- Boston Fit
Are you part of a running club? What is your experience like?